Why biming has become a must-have within the precast concrete industry?
Actualizado: 27 oct 2022
Not only is BIM the most convenient approach in the construction industry, but it is also becoming a standard. In the last BIM Report, released by the NBS for the UK in 2021, 73% of the surveyed professionals integrated BIM into their work. Slower but following the trend, some precast concrete companies have incorporated the methodology into their practices. Federico Brun, CEO, and founder of Biminglabs, shared that those companies have sped up their design processes with a more accurate approach while reducing errors.
What is the reason for its success?
BIM methodology (Building Information Modeling) is often referred to as the evolution of project management. Its ability to integrate 3D modeling to the information required in every phase of construction makes it ideal. It is a visual database. From the evaluation to the execution and even the operation, everything can be consolidated into a BIM Model, unifying processes and reducing times as the result of using it as a single source. The efficiency achieved by this methodology has no rival because it simplifies the collaboration between the stakeholders of a project.
It’s easy to imagine the benefits of bringing BIM into the precast concrete industry. Federico Brun states that the most important aspect is “going from 2D planes to 3D models which makes it easier to interpret a design accurately. Complex projects will benefit the most from using this method. One example of this is the West Gate Tunnel Project, in Victoria, Australia. Biminglabs worked on the design of six of the buildings, one of them being the Operations Building. Its complex geometry made it a perfect example of how BIM modeling presents an advantage compared to other methodologies”. The modeling would have taken at least twice as long to be developed, increasing project expenses.
Biminglabs design. West Gate Tunnel Project Operations Building. Victoria, Australia. (2022)
Besides, when interpreting a design in 2D, it is easy to overlook mistakes. Maria Eugenia Cura, senior architect at Biminglabs, says that “more often than not, errors carried from the early development stages are only detected on the construction site. That means extra money and time spent in correcting them.” Cura, who has worked on projects located in Australia, Canada, and the US, also adds “As BIM allows the integration of the models from different areas, the mistakes can be easily identified and then the company can work on finding suitable solutions before beginning construction”.
Precast concrete project, courtesy of Austral Precast, Biminglabs’ client.
That integration is known as the Federated Model (after the models produced by every collaborator of the project are pieced together). Not only are mistakes mended in an easier way, but the communication between all the parties involved is also smoother. If changes must be made in different stages, they will be able to access the information from the same file, decreasing the chance of error. Problems and changes are much easier to keep track of and be dealt with.
Furthermore, BIM is also able to decrease the chance of error on a precast concrete construction because of its ability to integrate data to the 3D design. “When precasters get involved with BIM Methodology at an early stage, it allows the company to develop a better proposal for the tendering process, by extracting exact precast concrete quantities, factory and site items' quantities from our 3D models” says Brun. Thus, BIM will not only help precasters with modeling but also during the rest of the process. For example, after every structural issue is taken care of, the manufacturing of the concrete panels can begin with the most accurate data available, minimizing costs as “Every extra effort in coordination and issue solved will directly affect the project budget as it will be more expensive to solve on-site rather than prior to construction”.
How can a Company implement the BIM methodology?
There are companies that support precasters with this transition. BIM must be implemented by trained professionals to ensure every aspect of it is being taken care of.
Dedicated to precast concrete design, Biminglabs is an American-based BIM Services company with offices in Uruguay. Its team is composed of architects and engineers specialized in precast concrete and BIM modeling, standing out from the competition which usually employs modelers, without university education in architecture, engineering or related fields. That broadens the possibilities of Biminglabs employees when working on a project.
The team’s experience adds up to more than 20 years focused on offering BIM solutions to precast concrete companies, modeling projects on Australia, the US, and Canada. Their work is based around BIM modeling, but the company goes beyond this by delivering general arrangement & shop drawings, as well as every other data demanded by the precaster, while adapting to their standards. Some of their clients are Austral Precast, Westkon Precast o XL Precast.